Safer Internet Day 2017 – Today is the day! #SID2017

To mark Safer Internet Day 2017 young people across the UK are joining Government ministers, celebrities, industry figures, schools and police services to inspire people to ‘Be the Change’ and unite for a better internet today.

Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Over 1,000 organisations are supporting the day, including former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, the BBC, BT, Sky, O2, Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Google, NSPCC, Premier League football clubs and the UK Government, as well as police services, charities and schools across the UK, who are all coming together to deliver a range of inspiring activities. They have joined hundreds of individuals supporting the #SID2017 social media campaign to inspire positive action, which has reached over 5 million with a mass tweet which took place at 8.30am today.

To explore the power and influence of images in young people’s digital lives the UK Safer Internet Centre has delivered a range of activities including:

  • Schools across the UK are using the Education Packs and SID TV films to empower young people to use images and videos safely and positively.
  • Young people across the UK have been taking part in a youth photo campaign to create engaging photos to explore the power and influence of images in their lives, with images being exhibited at youth events across the UK today and in an online gallery.
  • People across the UK have been joining the #giveasmile social media campaign to use the power of emojis and selfies to help make the internet a more positive place.

A new study commissioned by official organisers of the day, the UK Safer Internet Centre, explores the power and influence of images and videos in digital youth culture, highlighting the positives and potential risks, as well as identifying the key skills young people need to navigate today’s online world.

Schools may find this research helpful to share with young people to stimulate discussions for Safer Internet Day 2017 and beyond….

Power of Image

New research launched to mark Safer Internet Day reveals that images and video play a central role in young people’s digital lives and are powerful tools of communication, self-expression and creativity.

  • The majority (84%) of 8-17-year-olds have shared a photo online, rising from 73% of 8-12-year-olds to 95% of 13-17-year-olds.
  • In the last hour, 1 in 8 young people (12%) surveyed said they had shared a selfie, almost 1 in 3 had used YouTube (31%), 1 in 4 had used Snapchat (25%), and more than 1 in 5 had used Instagram (22%).

Encouragingly, young people are using the power of image to make a difference:

  • 4 in 5 young people (80%) said that in the last year they have felt inspired by an image or video online to do something positive.
  • Two thirds (67%) have posted an image or video on the internet for a variety of positive reasons, including to support friends (40%); to share something interesting with others (31%); and to encourage others to do something positive (17%).

However, while many of their experiences were positive, many young people are having negative experiences online:

  • Almost 2 in 5 (38%) have received negative comments on a photo they have posted; this can have a real impact on young people’s expression, as 2 in 5 (40%) said that they sometimes don’t post images because of worries about mean comments.
  • More than 1 in 5 (22%) of 8-17s said that someone has posted an image or video to bully them.
  • 70% of 8-17s said they have seen images and videos not suitable for their age in the last year.
  • Almost half (45%) of 13-17-year-olds have seen nude or nearly nude photos of someone they know being shared around their school or local community.

Magnified pressures

Our image-focused digital culture can mean young people face pressures, including body image concerns. According to the study, on average young people take 12 selfies before they are happy to post one online and 43% said they worry about how attractive they look when they share photos online. Furthermore, 45% have used a filter in the last year to make themselves look better.

In particular, the study identified these trends mostly amongst 13-17 year old girls: almost two-thirds (61%) of them worry about how attractive they look when sharing photos online and nearly half (47%) of them have felt sad about their appearance after seeing a particular image or video online.

Risky behaviour

The study also highlighted the need for young people to better understand privacy controls when sharing images and videos. Over half (56%) of young people aged 8-17 years said they have shared images or videos on a public social media profile, with almost a third (31%) saying that most of the photos they share are on a public profile that can be seen by anyone.

Whilst just over half (51%) said they always think about what personal information they could be sharing before they post a photo or video online, nearly a third (30%) of 8-17 year olds have shared a photo they wouldn’t want their parents or carers to see. Almost a quarter (23%) said they don’t know how to control who can see what they post on social media sites.

More worryingly, the majority of young people have shared an image or video with a stranger: 65% of 8-17-year-olds have shared images or videos directly with people they only know online, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they have done so in the last day. Despite this, nearly 2 in 5 (38%) say they worry about losing control of an image they have shared online.

The research also emphasised the importance of developing young people’s critical thinking skills when using the internet. Although the findings revealed nearly three quarters (70%) of young people surveyed agree that images and videos can be misleading and don’t always tell the full story, 48% said they are more likely to trust something has happened if they see an image or video of it.

Will Gardner, a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet, said about the day: “It is fair to say that in 2017 the internet is powered by images and videos. This can magnify the risks and pressures that young people face, while also offering fun new opportunities for self-expression and creativity. Today’s findings remind us that with an ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to equip young people with the skills, knowledge, confidence and resilience to communicate using images and videos responsibly and positively. This Safer Internet Day young people around the UK are uniting to inspire a better internet. We need to harness this enthusiasm and empower them to ‘Be the Change’ and use the power of image to help create a better internet.

Minister for Online Safety, Tracey Crouch, said: “The internet has provided young people with some amazing opportunities, but one of our top priorities is protecting them from risks they might face online. The UK is a world leader in internet safety, and measures in our Digital Economy Bill will be instrumental in better protecting children from harmful content. But there is still more to do, and Safer Internet Day is a fantastic reminder that we all have a part to play in making the online world a safer place for our children to discover, explore and enjoy.”

Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, said: “The internet is a powerful tool that gives children and young people many fantastic opportunities – but protecting them from the risks they might face online or on their phones remains absolutely vital. That’s why I’m pleased to be able to support Safer Internet Day again this year, and look forward to hearing how schools and pupils take part. At the Department for Education, we’re continuing to work hard to make sure that young people, parents and teachers, are actively involved in promoting safe online practice, and we’ve been providing training and resources to support teachers in delivering the new curriculum, which includes e-Safety.

Need more ideas and information on SID 2017?

Posted in 2017, Digital Rights & Responsbilities, e-Safety, Primary Resources, Research, Safer Internet Day, Schools, Secondary Resources, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childrens’ Online Content Worksheet for SID 2017 from Ofcom and Childnet

As part of its support for Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 7 February, Ofcom has  published a children’s online content worksheet for children aged 8-11.  created in collaboration with Childnet.

Children are surrounded by lots of different images every day. To understand what images and content they see, Ofcom asked them what types of things they look at, and what they would do if they saw something worrying or nasty. The worksheet shows children the results from Ofcom’s research, and encourages them to consider their own online use and what is appropriate for their age group. They can be used in school, or at home with parents/carers, and can help to prompt important discussions about being safe online.

Ofcom has a duty to promote and carry out media literacy research. As part of this work, they talk to children aged 3-15 about how they use and think about media, including the internet. They also talk to parents and carers about how they keep children safe when using different types of media.

Media literacy means people have the skills, knowledge and understanding to make full use of the opportunities presented by communications services, both new and traditional. All of Ofcom’s media literacy research is available online.

Posted in 2017, Childnet, e-Safety, Ofcom, Primary Resources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Digital Advertising Resources for KS2 from Media Smart

Earlier this month the Children’s Commissioner released a report ‘Growing Up Digital’ which highlighted the need for young people to be better prepared for online life by building their digital resilience.

For many children today, the digital world is a growing part of their lives. Understanding how and why adverts exist in this environment can help young people become better informed media consumers and make the most of the opportunities available.

To help primary schools cover these topics Media Smart have launched new educational materials: Get Media Smart – Digital Advertising resources for 9 – 11 year olds. This new module for primary schools is a follow up to the secondary school resources on Social Media and Advertising which were released in 2015.

The new resource for KS2 includes a one hour lesson, accompanying presentation and pupil activity worksheets that support both the PSHE and computing curriculum. At the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the different types of digital advertising
  • Explain how advertising rules shape the adverts seen on social media
  • Evaluate how to get the best online experience when using age-appropriate social media and seeing digital adverts

There is also an accompanying parent and guardian guide – so pupils can discuss this subject at home

The resources are free to download here

Posted in 2017, Advertising, e-Safety, Media Smart, Parents, Primary Resources, Resources, Schools, Social Media, Vlogging | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Growing up Digital” – New report from the Children’s Commissioner

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England has published the results of a year-long study, the Growing Up Digital report.

The report explores how well children are prepared to engage with the internet and states that today’s children are left to learn about the internet on their own with parents vainly hoping that they will benefit from its opportunities while avoiding its pitfalls. Growing Up Digital looked at how to equip children with the knowledge they need to engage creatively and positively with the internet, and not be overwhelmed by it.

Key findings

  • The time children spend online is continuing to increase – 3-4 year olds’ online use increased from 6 hours 48 minutes to 8 hours 18 minutes a week over the last year and 12-15 year olds spend over 20 hours a week online.
  • Impenetrable terms and conditions give social media giants control over children’s data without any accountability.
    • Growing Up Digital found that when children use social media they sign up to terms and conditions that they could never be expected to understand. These harbour hidden clauses which waive their right to privacy and allow the content they post to be sold.
    • The terms and conditions of Instagram (which according to the report is used by 56% of 12-15 year olds and 43% of 8-11 year olds) were tested with a group of teenagers. Younger ones were unable to read more than half of the 17-pages of text, which run to 5,000 words, and none understood fully what the terms and conditions committed them to.
    • Privacy law expert Jenny Afia, a partner at Schllings, rewrote the terms so they could be more easily understood by children, including advice that “[Instagram] is allowed to use any pictures you post and let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that”. Instagram can share with other companies any personal information about users, “such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages. “We can force you to give up your username for any reason,” the re-written terms and conditions say.
    • Children found the new terms far easier to understand, with many shocked at the extent of the app’s rights. Several said they would delete or reconsider using the app.
  • Although some of the behaviour children complain about online – bullying, sexting, harassment – may be illegal, children often do not know how to report concerns and when they do, are dissatisfied with any action taken.
    • One study identified in the report found that almost a third of 15 year olds admit to having sent a naked photo of themselves at least once, and over a third of 12-15 year olds have seen hateful content directed at a particular group of people in the last year. The number of children counselled by Childline about online bullying has doubled over the last 5 years.

Key  recommendations

  • Growing Up Digital calls for a digital ombudsman to mediate for children  and give them more powers to tackle social media companies over removal of content and encourage more transparent corporate behaviour.
  • A broader digital citizenship programme should be obligatory in every school for children aged 4-14
    • Growing Up Digital recommends that every child in the country studies digital citizenship to build online resilience, learn about their rights and responsibilities online and prepare them for their digital lives.
  • Growing Up Digital recommends that social media companies rewrite their terms and conditions so that children understand and can make informed decisions about them. And it asks the Government to implement legislation similar to that being introduced by the EU to protect children’s privacy and data online.

Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights Founder and a member of the Growing Up Digital steering group said:

The Children’s Commissioner has made an important intervention on a subject that is a central concern of parents, carers, teachers and young people themselves.  She has identified the lack of support in services that children routinely use, a yawning gap in their digital education and an unsustainable situation where the long-established rights of children are not applied online. The relationship between digital services and children will be an evolving one which will be constantly addressed and updated – but her recommendations are immediate and practical and usefully lay emphasis on those who provide services, the education of children who use them and the responsibilities of the UK government and the UN to update their provisions. I was happy to be part of her enquiry and welcome her recommendations.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, said:

Children spend half their leisure time online. The internet is an incredible force for good but it is wholly irresponsible to let them roam in a world for which they are ill-prepared, which is subject to limited regulation and which is controlled by a small number of powerful organisations. It is critical that children are educated better so that they can enjoy the opportunities provided by the internet whilst minimising the well-known risks.

“It is also vital that children understand what they agree to when joining social media platforms, that their privacy is better protected, and they can have content posted about them removed quickly should they wish to.

“I urge the Government to extend the powers of the Children’s Commissioner so that there is independent oversight of the number and type of complaints that social media providers are receiving from young people and I can recommend further action where required.

 “When it was created 25 years ago, the internet was not designed with children in mind. No one could have predicted its phenomenal growth, nor that it would become ingrained in every aspect of everyday life. We need to rethink the way we prepare children for the digital world.

Anne Longfield spoke to the BBC about the report here

You can access the full report here

Using the report in school

The Growing Up Digital  report could be a helpful tool to enable teachers  to facilitate conversions with children and young people and indeed adults about the current approach towards digital citizenship and possible steps forward.

BBC Newsround has produced a useful video about the report aimed at children  which could be used to generate discussions in the classroom.

Questions for pupils to consider could include:

  • What are their views on the findings from the report?
  • What do they think are their rights and responsibilities online?
    • Consider the 5rights campaign:
      • The Right to Remove: Every child and young person should have the right to easily edit or delete all content they have created.
      • The Right to Know. Children and young people have the right to know who is holding or profiting from their information, what their information is being used for and whether it is being copied, sold or traded.
      • The Right to Safety and Support. Children and young people should be confident that they will be protected from illegal practices and supported if confronted by troubling or upsetting scenarios online.
      • The Right to Informed and Conscious Use. Children and young people should be empowered to reach into creative places online, but at the same time have the capacity and support to easily disengage.
      • The Right to Digital Literacy. Children and young people need to be taught the skills to use, create and critique digital technologies, and given the tools to negotiate changing social norms.
  • Do they know how to report a range of possible online safety concerns, both online and in person?
    • Do they know what to do if they aren’t happy with the help or response they receive?
  • Did they read and understand the terms and conditions of the apps, games and websites they use?
    • How could we help them understand these better?
  • What information or advice would be helpful to have to help them understand how to keep themselves safe online?

Questions that schools and staff groups could consider may include:

  • How does our current curriculum currently enable pupils, aged 4 and above, to develop digital literacy skills (including being a responsible citizen and protecting their rights)?
    • How do we develop key critical thinking skills to enable pupils to online evaluate content?
    • How do we explore pupils awareness and understanding about their rights and responsibilities online?
  • How do we know that all of our pupils know how to seek support for a range of online concerns?
    • How do we support pupils who don’t feel the action taken (if at all) has helped them?
  • How do we role model digital literacy skills for children?
    • Do we as adults fully read and understand the terms and conditions of the sites we use?
  • How do we effectively support parents/carers?
    • How do we support vulnerable families to engage with core messages and access appropriate resources?
Posted in 2017, Children’s Commisson, Digital Rights & Responsbilities, e-Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Kayleigh’s Love Story – New film produced by Leicestershire Police

A film about how a 15-year-old Leicestershire schoolgirl was groomed online by a stranger and subsequently raped and murdered has made available to watch online and could be used as an educational resource.

  • Kayleigh’s Love Story – FactSheet
  • Kayleigh’s Love Story – Links

“Kayleigh’s Love Story” was created by Leicestershire Police to serve as a warning of grooming and sexual exploitation to children and parents following the tragic death of  Kayleigh Haywood in November 2015. The film tells how Kayleigh received an unsolicited message via Facebook from a local 27-year-old man, Luke Harlow. During the next 13 days, Harlow bombarded Kayleigh with messages containing expressions of affection before she finally agreed to spend the evening at his house. She ended up staying there for some 36 hours before fleeing in the early hours, only to be pursued by Harlow’s neighbour 28-year-old Stephen Beadman. A short while later, Beadman dragged Kayleigh into some nearby woods, where he raped and then murdered the schoolgirl.

Leicestershire Police have been showing the film to secondary schoolchildren in Leicester, via tightly-controlled screenings run by a team of eight, specially-trained Police Community Support Officers. Leicestershire Police felt that it was critical that the film was shared in structured screenings with children where staff could discuss with children the issues raised by the film and provide support and advice. Following these screening, 35 “disclosures” have been made by children to the police and these are currently being investigated.

Leicestershire’s Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: “Since controlled screenings of the film began, we have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from children, parents, teachers and partner agencies. We have also been inundated with requests for the full version of the film from individuals and organisations throughout the world. What happened to Kayleigh was horrific but we are pleased that some good is coming from the awful tragedy and that this film is raising far greater awareness of the dangers of online grooming and the signs that it may be happening. They are signs that we can all look out for and do something about – before it is too late.

A signed version, an audio described version and versions of the film translated into five languages – Polish, Hindi, Guajarati, Urdu and Punjabi – is available on the force’s YouTube page.

We suggest that this video may suitable for schools and other professionals to use with staff, parents/carers and secondary aged pupils. Leicestershire Police suggest the film would be rated as “15” but have shown the video to pupils within structured sessions aged 11+. We therefore recommend that staff view the video in full to ensure its use it suitable and appropriate before using it with any pupils.

Staff should be aware that this resource is hard-hitting  and it’s use may lead to disclosures. Therefore staff should ensure that they are familiar with their school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures before use. This video should be used by staff who have accessed appropriate child protection and online safety training and be used as part of an embedded and progressive online safety education. We recommend that this resource is used where possible, within small group situations such as PSHE lessons or tutor time, as within an assembly context it could place children at risk, such as if they become distressed or disclosed abuse.

If  Kent Schools wish to discuss online safety further then please contact the Education Safeguarding Team.


Posted in e-Safety, Grooming, Parents, Resources, Schools, Secondary Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Action Fraud – “Department of Education” ransomware alert for schools

Action Fraud have published an alert warning to schools reagrding a scam which  tricks people into installing ransomware which then encrypts files on victim’s computers.

Fraudsters are initially cold calling education establishments claiming to be from the “Department of Education”. They then ask to be given the personal email and/or phone number of the head teacher/financial administrator. They then claim that they need to send guidance forms to the head teacher (these so far have varied from exam guidance to mental health assessments). The scammers on the phone will claim that they need to send these documents directly to the head teacher and not to a generic school inbox, using the argument that they contain sensitive information.

The emails will include an attachment – a .zip file (potentially masked as an Excel or Word document). This attachment will contain ransomware, that once downloaded will encrypt files and demand money (up to £8,000) to recover the files.

It should be noted that similar scam attempts have been made recently by fraudsters claiming to be from the Department for Work and Pensions and telecoms providers (in this case they need to speak to the head teacher about ‘internet systems’).

How to protect against this type of fraud

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always be able to prevent you from becoming infected.

Please consider the following actions:

  • Although the scammers may know personal details about the head teacher  and use these to convince you they are a real employee, be mindful of where these have been obtained from, are these listed on your school website?
  • Please note that the “Department of Education” is not a real government department (the real name is the Department for Education).
  • Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication or contact them via a trusted point of contact e.g a nationally known number or email.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device you back up to aren’t left.

If Kent schools would like to discuss any of this further, please contact your Area Education Officer.

To report a fraud and cybercrime and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

Posted in 2017, Cybercrime, Schools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Safer Internet Day 2017 Education Packs now available!

Safer Internet Day 2017 will take place on Tuesday 7th February with the theme ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’. To help schools, youth groups, police services, libraries and other organisations run activities for Safer Internet Day 2017 , the UK Safer Internet Centre have created free Education Packs and complementary SID TV films tailored for children aged 5-7, 7-11, 11-14 and 14-18 and also content for use with parents and carers.  The packs include lesson plans, posters, presentations, activities and more!

You can download the education packs, access resources and register your support for SID 2017 on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.

Kent schools and education settings are encouraged to use these resources with pupils and parents. They can also contact the Education Safeguarding Team to share their ideas and activities for the day. We’d love to hear what schools and settings in Kent are doing!

Coming soon – check back on this post or on the UK Safer Internet Centre’s site for the following resources when they become available.

  • Quiz
    • UKSIC will be launching a fun and interactive quiz for young people in the next couple of weeks as a great way to think about key internet safety topics together at home or in schools and other settings.
  • Social Media Plan
    •  UKSIC will be launching a social media plan with sample tweets and posts, as well as how to join the Thunderclap to help you join the conversation on Safer Internet Day 2017.
  • A photography project pack
    • UKSIC will be launching a pack next week for children and young people to create their own photos exploring key themes around the power of images.
Posted in 2017, e-Safety, Parents, Primary Resources, Safer Internet Day, Schools, Secondary Resources, Teachers, UK Safer Internet Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Safety at Christmas Time and Beyond – Template Letter to share with Parents

As Christmas draws near, many children may be looking forward to receiving new electronic devices or games under the tree. Educational settings may find this to be an appropriate time to highlight some simple online safety tips to help parents/carers make safer choices when buying new devices. It may also serve as a timely reminder to consider how parents/carers can help to keep their children safer online during the festive period and beyond.

To help support educational settings with this, the e-Safety Development Officer has created a template letter that Designated Safeguarding Leads, Headteachers or Managers may wish to adapt and share with their communities.  The letter is based around four top tips:

  • Make informed choices
  • Setting boundaries
  • Filters and Parental Controls
  • Talk to your children

Educational settings may wish to use the letter in its entirely or may choose to share elements, such as within a regular newsletter.

Educational settings may also find it helpful to adapt or share these parent/child contracts from FOSI and a Platform for Good which can be given to children alongside their new devices.

Other additional links that schools may find helpful to share with parents/carers:

If schools and settings have any queries relating to online safety, then please contact the Education Safeguarding Team.

We would like to wish all of our subscribers a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer

Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection)


Posted in 2016, e-Safety, Letter, Parents, Schools | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

NCA launches “sextortion” (webcam blackmail) campaign

This week the National Crime Agency (NCA) has launched a national campaign to raise awareness about “Sextortion”  or web cam blackmail. This follows a recent BBC news report where in the past year, the suicide of four young men have been linked to concerns regarding blackmail online.

It is essential to recognise that if anyone aged under 18 is being blackmailed online following sexual activity then this must be identified as being child  sexual abuse or online child sexual exploitation (CSE). Any cases involving under 18’s should be reported to the Police or CEOP immediately using existing school/setting child protection procedures.

The campaign content may however may still be helpful for secondary schools , sixth forms and colleges and professionals working with young people to discuss the issues of online abuse. DSLs may also find it useful to share the campaign with members of staff.

The following content has been adapted from the NCA campaign page and is aimed at adults (over 18s) targeted online.

What is “sextortion”?

Criminals might befriend victims online by using a fake identity and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam, often by using an attractive woman to entice the victim to participate. These women may have been coerced into these actions using financial incentives or threats.

These webcam videos are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share the images with the victims’ friends and family. This can make the victims feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed and, tragically, here in the UK at least four young men have taken their own lives after being targeted in this way.

Both men and women can be victims of this crime, either by being blackmailed or by being coerced into carrying out sexual acts.

Who is behind this crime?

The NCA have evidence that organised crime groups – mostly based overseas ­- are behind this crime. For them it’s a low risk way to make money and they can reach many victims easily online. Victims are often worried about reporting these offences to the police because they are embarrassed.

What to do if you’re a victim of sextortion?

If someone threatens to share explicit images of you unless you pay them money:

  1. Don’t panic. Contact your local police and internet service provider immediately. The police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence and will not judge you for being in this situation.
  2. Don’t communicate further with the criminals. Take screen shots of all your communication. Suspend your Facebook account (but don’t delete it) and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account temporarily rather than shutting it down will mean the data are preserved and will help police to collect evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time so your online memories are not lost forever. Also, keep an eye on all the accounts which you might have linked in case the criminals try to contact you via one of those.
  3. Don’t pay. Many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for higher amounts of money. In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the explicit videos. If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn’t, then you can cancel the payment – and the sooner you do that the better.
  4. Preserve evidence. Make a note of all details provided by the offenders, for example; the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL; the Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); any photos/videos that were sent, etc. Be aware that the scammer’s Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it’s the ID details that police will need. To get that, right-click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black. It’ll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it. DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE.

Remember that you’re the victim of organised criminals – you’re not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this.

Further help and support

If this has happened to you and you’re under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help you. You can also get help from:

Short advice to share:

“Sextortion – Has this happened to you?”

  • Happening now? Call the police on 999
  • If this has happened recently, call the police on 101
  • Do not pay any money
  • Stop communicating with the person immediately
  • Report to your internet service provider
  • Screengrab and write down as much information
    as possible (see below for more info)
  • If you’re under 18, report to CEOP

If Kent education settings are concerned about this issue, the learners they work with or require additional support or guidance regarding online safety then please contact the Education Safeguarding Team.

Posted in CEOP, Child Sexual Exploitation, e-Safety, Exploitation, NCA, Revenge Porn, Sextortion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New CEOP resource for Primary Schools to help keep children safe online

Primary teachers and professionals can now access a brand new contemporary education resource pack to help teach eight to ten-year-olds to stay safe online.


Developed by the education specialists at the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command, the Play Like Share resources include three animations which follow Sam, Alfie and Ellie as they form a band, Selfie, to take on the mean but cool Popcorn Wizards in their school’s battle of the bands competition. On their journey to school super-stardom, Selfie learn just how troublesome an online fanbase can be as unscrupulous rivals use their online anonymity to derail the band’s rise to the top.

The accompanying 100 page resource pack, created by the team behind the Thinkuknow online safety programme, includes guidance, session plans and activities. The materials will help schools teach children to recognise pressurising and threatening behaviours online, and allow professionals to select content most appropriate for the children they work with, based on their understanding, maturity and online engagement.

There are also further optional sessions, designed to be delivered to particularly risk-taking or vulnerable children, that address issues such as inappropriate online contact from adults.

To support parents and carers in protecting children’s safety online, the pack includes a letter and help-sheet offering conversation starters to discuss events in Play Like Share and a child’s internet use.

Marie Smith, Head of NCA CEOP’s Education Team, said: “Play Like Share aims to simplify an often challenging topic. This resource will make it easier for teachers and professionals to deliver online safety by giving them all the materials they need in one place, ready to go. This is a safe and age-appropriate way to teach eight to ten-year-olds about sexual abuse and exploitation online. It is designed to address sensitive issues while helping children to gain the essential understanding, skills and confidence they need to resist manipulative behaviour online, as well as how to use the internet safely.”

The resources are available to download for free at the Thinkuknow website, the NCA’s hub for online safety information and a source of free educational resources for professionals, parents and children. CEOP have also published  a promo video on YouTube to help educators find out more.


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